My new favorite grain is whole wheat pearl couscous. When I went to the BlogHer food conference about a month ago, we got tons of samples from Bob's Red Mill. And this couscous was one of those such samples. The hearty fiber-richness is my favorite part of this grain...alongside the filling taste and cute little pencil eraser-like shape. So I took a handful of packets and have been experimenting with it ever since.
So this week, I had some leftover fresh parsley from last week's two bean salad and half of a leftover onion. As the couscous was cooking the other day, I was trying to figure out how to season it. A nice sweet onion flavor mixed with the freshness of the parsley. A little depth from some butter...and I had myself a meal. I crunched into a cucumber salad on the side...and there I was with a refreshing lunch, with plenty of leftovers for dinner or better yet, lunch tomorrow. Maybe a fried egg will appear next time.
Simple Whole Wheat Pearl Couscous
Yields 3-4 cups
Pearl couscous is the whole version of the instant variety that we are all more used to seeing. It takes a little longer to cook, but well worth the wait to bite into the soft little pellets. You can season couscous any way you like because it will take on whatever flavor you add, much like pasta. So try your hand at different herbs, spices and vegetables.
2 1/2 cups water
1 cup whole wheat pearl couscous, dry
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 Tbsp butter
Salt and pepper to taste
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add in the couscous and bring to a low simmer. Cover and cook for about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat a medium saute pan on low and add the olive oil. Allow the oil to warm up for a few minutes. Slide the onions into the pan. Saute on low for the entire time the couscous is cooking. This should produce translucent, perfectly cooked onions. Add salt and pepper to the onions to your taste preference.
Taste test the couscous to check doneness. If it is done, strain out any extra water in the pot if there is any. Flip the butter and onions into the couscous pot. Stir very thoroughly until the butter is totally melted. Add in the parsley until fully combined. Salt and pepper the mixture to your taste preference. Serve alongside a crunchy cucumber salad or grilled chicken.